The Hail Mary, also commonly called the Ave Maria or Angelic Salutation, is a traditional Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholicism, the prayer forms the basis of the Rosary and the Angelus prayers. In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, a similar prayer is used in formal liturgies, both in Greek and in translations. It is also used by many other groups within the Catholic tradition of Christianity including Anglicans, Independent Catholics, and Old Catholics. Some Protestant denominations, such as Lutherans, also make use of a form of the prayer.
Based on the greeting of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in the Gospel of Luke, the prayer takes different forms in various traditions. It has often been set to music, although the most famous musical expression of the words Ave Maria by Schubert does not actually contain the Hail Mary prayer.